Albany's gonna get funky

ALBANY -- Southwest Georgia ... Prepare to get funkdafied.

The Albany Civic Center will become ground zero for funkdafication over the Labor Day Weekend when Young Buck$ Enterprise brings Morris Day & the Time, Cameo and Lakeside to the Albany Civic Center for the first Southern Funkfest.

The Sept. 4 funktivities will be hosted by Michael Colyar with an assist from DJ Mello Mike.

"We've talked with a lot of people who seem to be excited about the show being here in Albany," Alfred Hosely with Young Buck$ said. "And we had folks in places like Columbus and Macon who wanted us to come there. But Albany is home, and we wanted to give it a shot here. We will have another Funkfest next year, but whether or not it's in Albany depends on the level of support we get for this show.

"We're doing everything right, inviting music fans from all over the area to come to our place for a good time. We want this to be an annual event for Albany. We're definitely bringing a quality show."

With Morris Day & the Time, funk fans will get to experience the former Prince protegees who rocked 1983 with "Jungle Love." The band's other hits include "The Walk," "Get It Up," "The Bird" and "Cool." Atlanta-based Cameo released maybe the funkiest song ever -- "Word Up" -- in 1986 and followed that up with hits "Candy" and "Back and Forth."

Lakeside is best-known for its 1980 smash "Fantastic Voyage."

"We've worked out a partnership with the local Marriott hotels, and we're still talking with some other potential sponsors," Hosely said. "Since this is only our second big show (following an event at the U.S. 19 Dragway), people are kind of taking a wait-and-see attitude. But we feel once we get this thing rolling we're going to pick up more sponsors along the way."

The Young Buck$ are also offering ad space in a souvenir program that will be available at the Funkfest, but patrons must get on board by Wednesday.

"We really hope this is something the entire business community will get involved with," Hosely said. "We think this is the kind of event that's going to have a trickle-down effect on the community. Hotels, restaurants and other businesses are going to benefit from the people we bring in for the show."

Hosely, who runs Young Buck$ with his children ("The real young bucks," he laughs), son Alfred Jr. and daughter Shay, said tickets have been moving at a fairly good pace.

"You go to a place like Atlanta, and shows sell out in a day or two," he said. "We're more of a last-minute market, but we want to encourage everyone to get their tickets as soon aspossible. For the groups we're bringing in here, the ticket prices are very reasonable."

Advance tickets, which are available at the Civic Center box office and at Ticketmaster outlets, are $25 for general admission and $35 for reserve seating. Ticket prices increase by $10 on the day of the show.

In addition to the day of funky music, Young Buck$ are also sponsoring a "Funky Funkateer Costume Contest" that will offer cash prizes to fashionistas who held onto their 1980s wardrobe. The best-dressed funkateer will get $500, the second-place finisher $250 and the third-place finisher $100.